The school year started off with students setting BIG goals and learning all about college life. Each student will be in teams for the year that represent one of six colleges (UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, University of Virginia, Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard). Be sure to ask your pen pal all about their college! The pre-scientists had the chance to research the colleges they are representing, check out a great college readiness website, and even write letters to their universities. Following this activity, they wrote up a series of goals ranging from their end of 6th grade goal to their lifetime goals. The pre-scientists were fired up by the college talk, which led to a variety of career aspirations, from marine biologist to nurses to lawyers, and the list goes on… Our classroom windows are now adorned in their BIG goals, and it is a daily inspiration for them to remain focused and hardworking.
We are now working on the foundation of skills needed to be a lifelong scientist. These objectives include process skills, the scientific method, identifying variables in a lab (independent, dependent and control), running a successful experiment and graphing their data. We started these skills off with a tasty lab that involved predicting the colors of M&Ms in a fun size bag. Whether it is the idea of achieving their big goals or enjoying sweet treats in a lab experiment, the pre-scientists have been extremely engaged in class; I am excited to see them all continue their relentless pursuits toward an excellent education. Do you have a favorite lab or experiment from middle school? Share your memories and ideas in the comment section!